Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Consumer electronics is a hard sell for people — just because something new comes out, that doesn’t mean it’s worth tossing out what came before. Think how slow the adoption of the flat panel TV was in comparison to all the years that tube-TVs held sway. Or how few people were willing at the early stage to buy into getting a high-definition TV when all the content was confined to a few TV channels showing documentaries and outdoor vistas.

Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than just having a new technology like 4K TVs to buy to make them a viable part of the culture — something not just wanted by the consumer but expected as well. It takes more than just having something to watch in 4K too — although of course that is important moving forward. What is needed is an organization devoted to promoting 4K technology as it impacts the consumer; devoted to heightening the awareness and educating the public as to why 4K isn’t just the “next new thing,” but the “next BEST thing.” There was such an organization when DVD’s came along, when Blu-rays came along, when HDTVs came along. Why not 4K?

That’s why the announcement of the launch of the UHD Alliance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) was so important — easily as important as all of the 4K TVs that overwhelmed the exhibition booths. The UHD Alliance isn’t just for show — what it will do will set the standards for how 4K moves forward and  how those supporting 4K with other electronic devices can attach themselves efficiently and effectively into this brave new 4K “World.” This is needed because 4K resolution brings more to the party than just detail: robust color that is more natural to the eye is comes along for the ride, as does an improved contrast and blacks that both contribute to making a picture more lifelike. And while it might sound surprising, audio as it impacts the 4K view is part of the equation too.

The initial members of the UHD Alliance include such heavy-hitters in the TV manufacturing world as Sony, Samsung, Sharp and Panasonic, with studios represented by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Disney and Twentieth Century Fox. Also listed down is Netflix, DirecTV, Dolby and Technicolor. Mike Dunn, President, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment says “The UHD Alliance will benefit consumers by identifying products and content that will give the true UHD experience,” while Hyunsuk Kim, President, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics points out that “the Alliance will encourage the development of high-quality UHD content while distinguishing TVs that provide the most premium UHD viewing experience.” Pointing to the superior qualities of 4K viewing, Ron Sanders, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment adds that “these technologies allow us to utilize a much broader palette to tell our stories while providing viewers with true-to-life colors, superior contrast and premium picture quality.”

Are there more members soon to be listed for the UHD Alliance? No doubt they are having the paperwork being filed right now. 

Of course the easiest way to understand what 4K TV is all about is to see one in action for that a trip to an electronics store will prove fruitful. And fun. And even a bit astounding for those of us who think that a HDTV is all thats needed for a great picture at home. Seeing is believing, they say, and getting up close and personal with a 4K TV will prove the point. 

Big time.


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